Buying a pre-owned luxury watch, like the Omega Speedmaster Snoopy, in my opinion, is more difficult than any other watch as there is a lot more at stake.
Pre-Owned Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Buyers Guide
Buying any used watch comes with an inherent risk, but when you venture into the world of luxury and high-end watches, it becomes even more treacherous with the increased number of scammers and fake watches available. That is why guides like this are helpful, as they help you identify the pitfalls and how to avoid them. Of course, even the most seasoned watch buyer can fall into the scam trap, and it’s even more commonplace for inexperienced who maybe aren’t sure what to look out for. As the number of luxury watches coming for sale increases, so do the number of scams, and those scams are becoming ever more sophisticated by the day, meaning it’s even harder to spot a genuine bargain from a complete rip-off. So be sure to give this guide a good going over, and hopefully, it’ll teach you something.
How To Spot A Fake Omega Speedmaster Snoopy
A. Sub-dial layout – The sub-dials should perfectly match the originals; if they look off, then something could be wrong as Omega aren’t known for messing this up. Check on their official website for proper hires images to verify this. You also want to make sure these dials are probably set into the dial and not simply painted on.
B. Check the length of the hands – The hands should reach all the way to the smaller gradations on the minute track. Fakes are often slightly shorter.
C. Check the lettering and other elements – These should be pristine and flawless; anything less is a no-go.
D. Look at the crystal – Omegas with a proper hesalite crystal should have a tiny Omega logo engraved on the underside. This should be in the middle of the crystal. If it isn’t there, then the crystal could have been replaced, or it could be fake.
E. Lume – The lume on any real Omega will be bright and long-lasting; many fakes have poor lume that isn’t up to Omegas high standards.
F. The Tach – This part of the watch should line up accordingly and match with the original, so be sure to check this too.
G. The movement – If you are dubious about the movement, have a properly certified watchmaker look it over. Most Speedy models use the calibre 1861, which uses a combination of plexiglass and steel. On a real Omega, the blocking lever is made of plexiglass, and there is a small engraved logo on it.
1. Thoroughly Research The Seller
The first vital thing you need to do when looking at buying a used watch is to research the seller. Basically, like a background check, you want to dig into a sellers reputation and see if any red flags sticking out. Some red flags aren’t the most obvious, and you could be unaware, so here are a few things to look for when vetting a seller. The first step is to check online reviews from genuine customers; beware of the fake reviews though as some shady sellers will pay users to write overly glowing reviews. These are usually pretty easy to spot as they are very one-sided and all positive with no criticisms. Now not all positive reviews are fake, so this can be a bit of a headache finding the real from the faux. One tip -look for is verified reviews as they let you know a buyer has purchased from that seller and isn’t just a paid passer-by. That’s why you do step two, which is to look on forums; usually, sellers don’t spam forums with positive reviews as most forums don’t allow that sort of thing. So take a look to see if anyone has had dealings with the seller you are researching, and you could find just what you’re looking for.
Next up, check social media, third-party review sites and of course, Google the seller to see if there is any further info on them. Another positive sign to look for is a brick-and-mortar store as if you do have a problem, you can always visit in person. Also, take a look at the seller’s website; if it looks like junk then I’d stay clear. Look out for well designed, user-friendly sites, as this is a good sign the seller is legit.
2. Ask The Right Questions
When looking at a pre-owned watch, there are a few questions you should have jotted down or committed to memory so that you are armed with the power of knowledge. Here are a few questions you should ask any seller, and if they are legit, they should have no problem answering these. If they are elusive or evasive, that means they’re hiding something – so walk away. For this example, we’ll be looking at an Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 13 Snoopy – just as a case study.
l “Has the Omega been altered in any way, and does it have all its original parts” – Essentially, you’re asking if the watch has had any alterations to the mechanical components or items such as the crystal. This is because not all Omegas use Sapphire and can be prone to marking. Just think of an alteration as, say adding a third-party air filter to your car. Yes, it still works, but it isn’t original, and with a luxury watch, you want original or at least genuine OEM.
l “Does the Omega have the original factory finish” – Again, like with the previous, you want the seller to say “yes, the watch is all original” as a re-finished watch can potentially be done poorly, leading to a tarnished watch and lower value.
3. Always Buy From Sellers With An Easy To Understand And Transparent Returns Policy
Just because a watch has a great description and looks fantastic in the pictures; doesn’t mean it’ll be that way when it has been delivered to you. If you aren’t happy with it, then having a seller with an easy to understand returns policy is key. The last thing you need is the hassle of having to decipher policy jargon when it should be written in plain English (or whatever your native language is). Most sellers should offer a crystal clear 30 days return policy, and the good ones will accept a return with no hassle and offer either a replacement or full refund.
4. Ask The Seller About The Watch’s History
Any seller that has a good reputation and wants to keep it that way will offer this information with no fuss. Bad sellers or scammers will feed you a cock and bull story about how history isn’t important, and their products are 100% genuine; if they do this, run. A watch’s history is very important, especially for a luxury one as they can lose tonnes of value if they don’t have history. Take the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch “Snoopy” Limited Edition, for example. If you are interested in the watch, but the history isn’t mentioned in the listing, contact the seller and ask if it comes with the watch. If it doesn’t, then you might want to think twice about buying it – unless you like a little risk, that is.
5. Ensure The Watch You’re Buying Has All The Correct Documents And Original Items
Another thing we advise you to do when looking at buying a used Omega or any other luxury watch for that matter is to see if it comes with all the correct documents, all the original accessories and of course, the original box. All these things can increase a watches value and make it more appealing. The original papers should be what came with the watch straight from the factory, as well as notes of any service history (if it has any). This should tell you if the watch has been serviced properly as a poor service can cost tonnes to fix and sometimes might have done irreversible damage to the watch. This little piece of paper can potentially save you a boatload of cash as well as increase the value of the watch if you ever come to sell it on. It’s also a good sign the watch is real, too as most fakes don’t contain any service history, so be sure to ask the seller if they have this so it can be included with the watch.
6. Make Sure The Seller Is Offering A Warranty And Check To See If They Are Qualified To Service it
Most but not all sellers may claim that they have correctly serviced a watch, but you need to be sure that whoever did the service did a good job and if they used genuine OEM parts or not. Any respectable seller, if they offer servicing, should have properly trained watch repair personnel that know how to correctly look after and service a watch properly. If they haven’t, then make sure you know a reliable and trusty one as the watch you are buying could potentially need a good going over to make sure everything is right. Take Chrono24, for example; on most of their listings; it states whether the watch has been inspected. You can usually spot this by clicking “More Information”, which is normally displayed under the price.
7. If It Looks Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
I’m pretty sure that most parents or guardians will have taught you this at some point in your life, but it rings true here as well. If a watch is too cheap, then it could either be fake or stolen and either is something you don’t want, especially if you just sunk a huge sum of money into your dream watch. If a seller says offering this Omega (Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary) for anything around £2000 or less, then you know that they’re up to no good. Ideally, the used price for these watches would be well north of £5,000 as they retail for around £8000 new. So our tip here is to do your research and find out the current retail value of your watch as well as the price pre-owned. Some good sellers will offer anywhere from approximately 30% to 70% off the retail price depending on a few factors, which is pretty normal, but if they are offering a watch for any more off, then the likelihood is that it’s either fake, stolen or a franken-watch (a watch made up from loads of other watches). So be sure you do your research to avoid getting stung.
8. Look out for stock Omega Speedmaster Snoopy photos
When looking to buy any used watch, I want to see the watch, what it looks like, and its condition. If a seller is only using stock photos for a used watch, then ask for some photos. If they refuse, simply walk away and avoid them. If a seller can’t be bothered to provide any photos, then they’re likely hiding something or possibly haven’t even got the watch they’re selling. If the seller is good, then they should offer photos with no fuss.
There you have it, a comprehensive checklist to go over before you think about buying a pre-owned luxury Omega Speedmaster Snoopy – or a watch from any other high-end watchmaker. If you follow our list, then you should be able to more easily find a good deal as well as find the right seller that offers all of this. Keep in mind that buying experiences vary from seller to seller, which is why WRUK recommends choosing Chrono 24 when shopping for your next luxury purchase as they only work with reputable sellers across the globe and have a great reputation for looking after both buyers and sellers alike.